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People like to complain that the millennial generation doesn't know how to date. That Tinder, OkCupid and the like are why romance is dead and "hook-up culture" exists.

Maybe they're right... but we have to say it's much more likely that dating apps and websites are just another addition in society's history of truly bizarre dating traditions. And that in 150 years, right-swiping will be just as bizarre a phenomena to the future generation as The Duggar's courtship rules or Victorian dance cards are to us now. 

Speaking of which, there have been a lot of of truly weird dating traditions in history that at one point were considered absolutely normal. One of our personal favorites of which is "Dyngus Day" (which is still celebrated in certain places). The entire "holiday" is dedicated to boys throwing water on girls they like and hitting them with pussy willow branches. Talk about romance.  

But still, there are still some much weirder dating traditions than Dyngus Day. Here are five of the most bizarre dating traditions from the past that will make you extremely thankful you live in a world where internet dating exists. 

1. Wearing An Empty Knife Sheath To Signal You're Single  

female-viking-knifePhoto Credit: Wikipedia

In Viking culture, women would wear empty knife sheaths around their waists as a subtle way to show that they're available. If all went well, the lady would catch a man's eye and he would then stick his knife in her sheath. This was probably one of the only times in history when anyone wanted to be knifed. 

2. Bundling Up Together 

Photo Credit: Jane Austen's World

With this tradition from the 19th century, you got to share a bed with your boo and talk to each other all throughout the night. But you also were both bundled up like babies in separate blankets (or sometimes sacks tied at your neck) in that bed. Also, you'd probably have a wooden board between you two to prevent any premarital touching.

3. Whittling Wooden Spoons To Prove Your Love

welsh-love-spoonsPhoto Credit: Pinterest

If any self respecting 17th century Welsh man wanted a certain girl's hand in marriage, he first had to prove his love by carving her a wooden spoon from a single piece of wood. Because as we all know, decorative spoons are the way to any woman's heart. The designs were rather intricate and symbolic. A wheel meant that they'd work for you, while grapes meant "our love will grow." 

4. Flirting Via Fan 


Ladies in the 18th century got their flirt on with a fan in hand. In fact they developed a whole language to talk to perspective mates across the ballroom floor. Touching the tip of the fan with the finger meant "I wish to speak to you," and letting the fan rest on the left cheek meant "No."

5. Dancing With An Apple Slice In Your Armpit 


Why did Austrian women dance with apple slices all up in their armpits? So that they could give the sweaty slices to guys they were interested in of course! If the man you gave your slice to liked you back, he'd take a bite. How romantic and not vomit inducing at all!

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